ATHENS -- The 18th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs crushed 15th ranked Georgia Tech 7-1 in front of a season high crowd of 3,004 at Foley Field Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (16-6) used a total of six pitchers that allowed one run on eight hits, while registering 11 strikeouts and only two walks. Freshman starter David Sosebee recorded his second win of the season, pitching three scoreless innings while allowing just two base runners on one hit and one walk in a planned staff outing.
Georgia’s Brett DeLoach got the scoring started with his first home run of the season, a solo blast over the left field trees to lead off the bottom of the second inning off Tech right-hander Zane Evans. Freshman Hunter Cole followed up DeLoach’s homer with a single, then Kevin Ruiz also singled into left two batters later to put runners on first and second with one out. After Brandon Stephens loaded up the bases with a single, Curt Powell reached on a bobbled grounder to third, driving in Cole. Conor Welton tacked on two more runs for the Bulldogs, singling up the middle to bring in Ruiz and Stephens to cap the four-run outburst.
“Tonight we played our best game of the year, and it was nice to do that in front of a great crowd and in a big game against our rival,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “I though David Sosebee was outstanding, our offense made some adjustments, and we played excellent defense. Brett’s home run gave everybody a big lift and Levi and Conor did well at the top of the order and Curt came through at the No. 9 spot. Pete Nagel came through when Tech had a chance for a big inning, and I think I’ll leave Alex (Wood) as a starter. ”
Georgia’s pitchers threw five innings of shutout baseball recording five strikeouts and just two hits combined before allowing a run in the sixth. Senior Chase Hawkins recorded two strikeouts in a perfect fourth inning before being replaced by Alex Wood in the fifth. Wood was available for a relief appearance after he threw just four scoreless innings in a start against Tennessee this past Friday. A one-hour lightning delay last Friday in the top of the fifth cut short his start against the Volunteers.
Freshman pitcher Pete Nagel came on for Wood with runners on first and second and nobody out in the sixth. Nagel was able to fight out of the jam quickly, however, striking out Evans. On the same pitch, Brandon Stephens caught Jake Davies trying to steal second for a double play. Nagel finished out the inning forcing Daniel Palka to ground out, preserving a 4-1 lead.
Georgia rebounded quickly in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, as Peter Verdin was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. He then stole second and reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Stephens. Powell drove him in on the next at bat to regain their four run lead. After Powell stole second, Levi Hyams reached on a grounder to second then advanced on an errant throw by Tech’s Connor Winn which also scored Powell from second, making it a 6-1 Georgia lead.
Georgia would score their third run of the inning two batters later after Hyams advanced to third on a fielder’s choice groundout from Welton and then scored on a wild pitch by Alex Cruz, leaving Georgia up 7-1 after six.
Nagel pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four. Redshirt freshman Jay Swinford pitched a perfect eighth inning and Blake Dieterich took care of the ninth.
Georgia travels to Nashville, Tenn. this weekend for a three game series against SEC opponent Vanderbilt. First pitch Friday will be at 7 p.m. ET
UGA RB THOMAS DECIDES TO TRANSFER:
ATHENS — University of Georgia tailback Carlton Thomas decided Tuesday to transfer to another school for his senior season, according to UGA head coach Mark Richt.
“This decision was based solely on the fact that this is my last year to play and my parents and I felt like it was the right move to make,” Thomas said. “I want to make more of an impact on the field. I didn’t want to disrupt Georgia’s team and preparation for next season, so I made the final decision to leave earlier rather than later in the year.”
Richt wished Thomas the best of luck.
“Carlton came to me recently to discuss his thoughts,” Richt said. “I understand his decision and appreciate all the contributions he’s made to our program.”
A native of Frostproof, Fla., Thomas played in 27 career games, including two starts. His career totals include 159 carries for 725 yards and four TDs.